The mystery of the opposite sex

This morning we went to our local butcher to buy some meat for a stew I have to make later (dreading this as I hate cooking). My little lady lit up when she saw the butcher and immediately said ‘hiya’ before tucking her face into my neck and pretending to be completely uninterested in his response. This is all part of her charm. She will put on a shy act and then before you know it is chatting merrily away while grinning her toothy grin.

This is quite often her behaviour around men. Interestingly enough she is not as bothered by women; it depends on her form or the time of day or something random like that. Men, however, are nearly always greeted with a smile. I can’t quite fathom why this is but it has been the case since she was a baby. I shouldn’t be surprised considering ‘man’ became a favourite word long before ‘hello’ or even the current flavour of the week ‘no’.

I often makes jokes to my husband that he will have to be careful when she becomes a teenager and keep an eye on who she is hanging out with. But, all joking aside, I do wonder where this male preference comes from. Am I to blame? Do I unconsciously give out flirty vibes to men we pass on the street? Admittedly in my pre-child (and pre-marriage) days I was a little bit flirty and to this day don’t consider it advisable to have male friends. This has never worked well for me and I think male/female friendships only work if there is not even a hint of a spark between you. I’ve seen friendships cross the gender barrier and it looks lovely but it’s never worked that way for me.

I do hope my daughter is able to be friends with both men and women regardless of who she is interested in romantically; life is more interesting when it’s varied a bit. I think perhaps single sex schools may have contributed to my inability to form friendships with men (beyond my husband). Men still have this air of mystery about them as I never saw them up close during their gawky, growing up years. I never watched them stammer their way through Romeo & Juilet or heard their voices change from squeaky to manly. So to me boys and later men had a romantic air completely untainted by reality. This may not have been for the best considering I grew up reading Sweet Valley High books where Todd and his ilk were mini-gentlemen; unfailingly polite at all times. Real adolescent boys would, no doubt, have shocked me!

I am now considering which school to send my little cupcake to. Considering her flirty behaviour I was intending to steer clear of mixed schools but now I wonder should I not just deflate the mystery now and let her in on the secret; men are just as mixed-up and nutty as us; there’s really no mystery there.

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